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Archive for February, 2011

It’s Trade Deadline Day!

28 Feb

Flames only made one deal. They got Freddy Modin from the Thrashers in exchange for a seventh round pick. Let’s be honest, Modin is not going to stop any presses - he’s 35, doesn’t play much, and caps out at a whopping $800,000. This is no longer the 30-goal scorer he was with the Lightning back in 2004. Don’t get excited.

Speaking of not getting excited, Calgary did get defenceman Brett Carson off of waivers from the Carolina Hurricanes. Who – you ask? Well apparently it’s a guy who has spent parts of the last three seasons split between the NHL and the AHL. Maybe you remember the name from Hitmen fame some five years ago. He’s only played 13 games this year, but is an impressive +7. A depth guy, who will play when two of the regular defencemen are hurt. The upside is also that at 26 he brings some experience to Abbotsford.

I guess it’s not surprising that the Flames did little this deadline day. You can’t get draft picks unless you want to give up someone decent. And you can’t give up someone decent and make a legitimate run at the playoffs.

And thus ends Trade Deadline Day 2011, now we can focus on trying to make the playoffs.

 

Flames 1 – St. Louis 0

28 Feb

That was as close to losing a game as you can get – losing a game in regulation that is. Not only were the Flames out-shot, and were once again desperately defending a thrid-period lead, but the Blues had a goal called back (high-stick) and Patrik Berglund rang one off both posts late in the game. One shot, two posts. It doesn’t get much closer than that. Actually I wonder if anyone had hit both posts and the crossbar before? Let’s ask Google.

Yup, whattaya know. Victor Stålberg did it, he hit both posts and the crossbar. Check out Victor Stalberg and the ‘hat trick of iron’

After visiting the Blues site I see that Brad Boyes has been traded to Buffalo and remembered that the trade deadline is today! I also learned that last night was the first time that St. Louis had been shut out in 111 games. That’s impressive.

I’ll post anything I hear Flames-wise regarding trades as soon as I hear the slightest rumour of them.

 

Sharks 4 – Flames 3 (SO)

26 Feb

I think that the Flames were pretty lucky to get a point out of that game, as San Jose was in control for most of it. Some really fortunate bounces Calgary’s way kept the game close, and some bad goaltending on the Sharks’ behalf directly resulted in a late Flames lead. But the way the Sharks came on in the third and with the Flames were on their heels, you just knew that it couldn’t last.

What’s funny is that the Flames (8th) meet St. Louis (13th) now in back-to-back games. If the Blues win both games, Calgary will take sole possession of 13th from St. Louis. And that would mean that the last two months of 700 hockey by the Flames will have moved them up one position in the race for the postseason. I guess that is that parity we’ve all been told is such a great thing.

 

Bruins 3 – Flames 1

23 Feb

For the first time in what seems a long while, the Flames actually lose in regulation. The game was pretty evenly matched, and both goalies played well. If stupid Rogers SportsNet Flames would have started on time I would have been able to tell you what happened on the first Boston goal. But no, the standard definition feed started 5 minutes in and the HD feed began somewhere around the end of the first period.

Well I heard it was a bad line change, and the replay seems to confirm that – so I guess that is what we’ll go with. Glenn Crossbar scored his twentieth of the year, and it was a beaut. The story of the day must have been Niklas Hagman being put on waivers. In totally non-Sutter-like fashion, Jay Feaster has put him on waivers now so he doesn’t count against the cap come trade deadline – which is Monday. He can be recalled by Calgary afterwards but he’ll have to clear re-entry waivers again. The thing is that no other team other than Calgary could put him in their lineup for the playoffs, but they’d have him next year at half his salary ($1.5M). Poor Hagman, I’ve never seen a guy try so hard to accomplish so little.

 

Food for thought – who really won the Leafs/Flames trade?

22 Feb

I can’t believe that the Flames may have come out on top of the Phaneuf (and subsequent White) trade, but let’s have a look at the 2010-2011 season statistics.

Ian White

Games Played 56
Goals 2
Assists 15
Points 17
Plus/minus – 6

Dion Phaneuf

Games Played 43
Goals 2
Assists 13
Points 15
Plus/minus - 8

Anton Babchuk

Games Played 61
Goals 9
Assists 20
Points 29
Plus/minus 6

Numbers don’t lie. Babchuk has done nearly as well as both White and Phaneuf combined. And before you say that it’s because he’s on a better team… Calgary has won only 6 more games that Toronto has, and 3 more than Carolina. Oh, you say, but Phaneuf and White were hurt. An injury is an injury, regardless if he’s playing on your team or against you. I’d rather have a guy who was healthy enough to get points, rather than a guy who ‘could have done better’ if he wasn’t hurt.

Also did you know that Babchuk was a first round draft pick? So maybe Sutter knew what he was doing when he had to bail on the White deal. Nah, it was probably a law-of-averages type deal – eventually Sutter had to get one right.

 

Calgary 4 – Canadiens 0 (Heritage Classic)

20 Feb

Great game, great event. I didn’t get a chance to go to Spectator Plaza, as they shut it down an hour before the game started. Tokyo Police Club was great, and Metric and Five For Fighting weren’t too shabby either. Paul Brant’s rendition of O Canada could have used a little work. But all in all, the weather was perfect, just cold enough to remind you that you were sitting outside.

So there was also a game played. And in it, Bourque had two goals, and a career-high and outdoor game record 11 shots, shattering the previous record of 7 held by Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk and Pittsburgh’s Kris Letang. Miikka Kiprusoff had a 39-save shutout which moved the Flames up to (albeit temporarily) 6th place in the West.

The Flames capitalized on a five-on-three with a nice pass from Tanguay to Bourque, which stood as the winner. Although the highlight of the night was Bourque’s second goal. Check it out.

I’ve also got a few photos…

Heritage Classic 04

Flames / Canadiens warmup

Heritage Classic 03

Canadian national anthem

Heritage Classic 02

Night falls at Heritage Classic

Heritage Classic 01

Tokyo Police Club during the first intermission

 

Flames 4 – Stars 2

16 Feb

Kinda closer that one would have expected, after the Flames dominated the first period. Dallas had a couple lucky bounces in the second to take the lead (2-1), but the Flames answered before the end of the period from an unlikely goal-scorer Tom Kostopoulos.

Western Standings

Things are pretty tight in the West

But then the goal-scorers became even more unlikely, as Cory Sarich then scored his 3rd of the season, followed by Steve Staios’ 2nd of the year. And let me tell you, a 2-goal scorer doesn’t score pretty goals. Ray Ferraro’s description of Sarich’s shot as a ‘muffin’ was quite accurate.

That moves the Flames into a 5-way tie (yes you read that correctly) for 4th place. But that’s nicer than it sounds, the Flames also remain in eighth.

 

Flames 9 – Avalanche 1

15 Feb
Calgary vs. Colorado

What the?!?

Yup, you read that right. Flames 9 – Avs 1. Nine! And this game had no shortage of story-lines if you’re a Flames fan.

  • Olli Jokinen had four points before leaving the game with a knee injury – in the first period! It’s the first time a Flame has had four points in a period in twenty years.
  • Curtis Glenncrossbar had two goals and only one crossbar!
  • This game was tied for all of 18 seconds, when Moss opened the scoring. David Moss had four points in the game.
  • Calgary’s second line (Crossbar, Jokinen, Moss) had nine first-period points en route to an 11-point night.
  • The Flames should have had ten, and they had a goal called off. The reason? “There is no official review on the play. The Calgary player’s skate hit the goalies pad causing him not to be able to play his position,” said an on-ice official.
  • Jackman was injured after preventing an icing. It has only been called a lower-body injury.
  • With the win, the Calgary moves back into eighth in the West. Although the Flames have played more games than anyone else in the conference
  • There were more goalie pulls than I’ve ever seen in one game (after seeing both goalies pulled in a game earlier this year). Peter Budaj was pulled after allowing two goals, Craig Anderson came on in relief and finished the first period. However Budaj started the second, but was pulled again in the third! Kiprusoff was pulled in the third when the Flames were up by seven.
  • Iginla looked rather quiet all night, but still had two goals.
  • Tanguay returned from his neck injury to score a goal.
  • Peter Forsburg didn’t play, because he retired (again) earlier in the day.
  • The Flames were actually outscored in the second period, 1-0.
  • Philippe Dupuis had a five minute kneeing penalty and a game misconduct for the knee on Jokinen.
  • Stajan even scored a goal! Bourque did not, although he had a couple points.
  • Tim Jackman and Nik Hagman were tied for a team-worst even-rating in the game. And Jackman had a goal called back and was injured after getting just six minutes of icetime. Poor Hags.
  • The only Flame who was selected an NHL star of the night was Glenn Crossbar (1GH – 2A). Jokinen and Moss’s four points each apparently not as good as Ray Whitney’s two.

 

Don’t you wish all games had that many events in them? Unless of coarse you’re on the losing end of it, then that would be horrible.

 

Canucks 4 – Flames 2

13 Feb

For the first time in 11 games Calgary loses in regulation. And what does that mean? Well they are now out of a playoff spot. What’s worse is that the Kings are one point back with three games in hand, and Chicago is two points back with two games in hand. Those games in hand are going to be the death of the Flames’ playoff hopes.

All told the Vancouver game was a good one, the effort from Calgary was there and no one screwed up badly enough to singlehandedly lose the game. They were just up against a better team (with a better powerplay – 2 goals) and they lost. It’s going to happen, now we just have to see how well the Flames rebound from this.

 

Ducks 5 – Flames 4 (OT)

12 Feb

That was a pretty good hockey game if I can say so about a Flames loss. You’re starting to see the teams feel the importance of every point, plus the lead changed four times!

That extra point would have had the Flames move into a four way tie for 5th, but it wasn’t to be. Getting a point is 500 hockey, so it’s not quite good enough – but it’s better than nothing. Everyone remember this if the Flames miss the playoffs by one point.

Next up? Vancouver.

Crap.

 
 
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